An infographic about man boobs

Man boobs is a word from pop culture that no man wants to be associated with. If you scout the internet for the term man boobs you can see it being loosely applied. Let’s clear the confusion once and for all and take a look at what exactly does it mean by man boobs, the types of man boobs and how to get rid of man boobs.

What Does Man Boobs Exactly Means ?

Chest enlargement occurs in some men due to a number of reasons and becomes similar to a female breast in appearance. This enlargement of a man’s chest like that of a woman is named man boobs (man with a woman’s breast) by popular culture and has no relation with medical terminology. In medical terminology man boobs can be gynecomastia, pseudogynecomastia or mixed gynecomastia.

Types Of Man Boobs

Man boobs or enlarged breast in men can be caused by a number of factors. One of the most common cause is growth of excessive breast tissue which is called gynecomastia. Man boobs can also be caused by fat that gets built up around and behind the nipples or areola and this is called fake gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia.


An illustration showing the difference between man boobs as a result of excess breast tissue compared to a normal chest in men

Gynecomastia is type of man boobs caused by the presence of excessive female hormone estrogen which in turn can be as result of medication side effects, genetic predisposition or simply due to reasons that are still a mystery. All men have a certain amount of estrogen in their body and that is normal. In the case of gynecomastia, we are talking about abnormal and excessive levels of estrogen hormones.


An illustration showing the difference between man boobs as a result of fat accumulation compared to a normal chest in men

This type of man boobs is caused by pectoral fat that gets built up behind and around the areola. If you are obese or overweight, you will definitely have chest fat and a lot of the times, men who are obese look at their chest and take it for granted as gynecomastia. Our chest and abdomen are the two most vulnerable areas for fat deposit. If you belong to the overweight or obese category when it comes to body type, you will surely have proportional fat in your breast area.

Causes Of Man Boobs

The causes of man boobs can be directly traced to the causes of its sub-types gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia. One of the reasons why people fail when they try to get rid of man boobs is because they are treating the wrong cause. The root cause of gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia on the other hand are very different. The root cause for gynecomastia is excess estrogen production and presence in your body whereas in the case of pseudogynecomastia, it is excess fat build up under and around your areola (nipples). Take a look at the causes of gynecomastia page for specific causes of gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia page for causes of pseudogynecomastia.

An image mentioning the causes of man boobs


Man boobs that occur as a result of excess breast tissue has a number of reasons and the most common reason is excess estrogen production. The female estrogen can be produced excessively as a side effect of certain medications, inherent problems with hormone production in the body, as a result of medical conditions like Kinefelter Syndrome, low production of the male hormone testosterone, natural decline of testosterone due to ageing etc. In the case of body builders, non-systematic use of steroids without flushing estrogens through PCT is the major cause of man boobs. A diet high in food items containing estrogen will also speed up breast tissue growth. For detailed information, read the causes of gynecomastia page.


Man boobs also happens due to accumulation of fat behind and around the areola (nipples) and this is obviously due to high overall fat content that your body has. Chest and belly are the most comfortable sanctuaries for excess fat in our body. Excessive fat production in our body can be sue to a number of medical conditions and researchers are also in recent times finding out that genetic predisposition can also be a cause. If you are doing your fair share of calorie control and physical activities but yet find that you are gaining weight which does not make sense in light of all you are doing, you must definitely see a physician who can order tests that will find the root cause of the excess fat production.

Cause Of Man Boobs Among Steroid Users

Steroid users are one particular group that find themselves with man boobs after a long period of cycling. The problem is not with the use of steroid use itself but rather the unsystematic use of it. A lot of steroids users unaware about the side effects of continuous cycling develops gynecomastia. The proper way is to cycle off for a period of time and undergoing post cycle therapy (PCT) that flushes the excess estrogen, bring back the testosterone production to normal levels and balances the hormone levels. If you are using anabolic steroids, you must cycle off and go for  PCT. Failing to do is akin to a red carpet welcome invitation for gynecomastia. Read more about post cycle therapy (PCT) treatment below in the treatment section for man boobs.

Excess estrogen levels caused by steroids can cause man boobs

Man Boobs Among Teenagers

Growth of breast tissue (gynecomastia) happens naturally during three times in the life span of a male and they are infancy, at the time of puberty and old age. Yes, what you have just read is correct! Breast tissue growth happens as a result of the hormonal changes that happen while you are in puberty. You are in no way an exception and between 48-64% of all teenagers experience this. This is called pubertal gynecomastia and these are not permanent man boobs that you need to worry about. Now the good news is that, this excess breast tissue will go away as your chest flattens out when you enter adulthood. You do not need any treatment because this is a natural bodily change.

An image showing statistics about teenagers with man boobs

Need One More Reason To Quit Marijuana ?

Marijuana is one of the recreational drugs that can contribute to the development of man boobs. This is being validated by a number of clinicians and physicians who works in the field. The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) medical website, Medline Plus also lists marijuana as a factor that can cause breast enlargement. The same was highlighted by Dr. Anthony Youn, a CNN contributor in his widely talked about aptly titled story “Does smoking pot cause man boobs?“. Physicians specializing in the treatment of man boobs are also seeing a trend where a large number of their patients have a history of marijuana use. So if you are currently using marijuana, take a decision today to quit it.

recreational drugs like marijuana can cause man boobs

Eating Too Much Estrogen ?

We usually consider food items in terms of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fat but a lot of the food items that we eat on a daily basis or sees in the menu contain estrogen. This on top of your already high levels of estrogen can act like pouring propane into a hormonal inferno.

Man boobs can also be caused by consuming foods that are rich in estrogen

There is a very strong correlation between what we eat and how it affects our hormone levels. This is all the more true and evident when it comes to man boobs. Be it man boobs caused by excess breast tissue or fat accumulation, there is a very good chance that what you eat is contributing to it. In the case of man boobs caused by chest fat, you have to understand and accept the fact that you have a high level of fat content in your body. Some of us are genetically predisposed for fat reception from foods and as such, low fat diet will become a key part of our fight against losing chest fat. If you are very obese, you might be asked to shed some weight before you can undergo surgery as it helps the surgeon to do a better job in terms of giving a good chest contour.

The next table is a list of food items that are rich in estrogen. For a complete list of medications that have been known to directly or indirectly cause gynecomastia and a list of food items that are rich in estrogen and testosterone, read the page on causes of gynecomastia.

Food Items Rich In Estrogen

No: Description
1 Dried fruits
2 Flax seed
3 Peas
4 Beans
5 Peas
6 Sesame seeds
7 Chickpeas
8 Bran cereals
9 Soybean
10 Tempeh
11 Tofu
12 Alfalfa sprouts

Diagnosis Of Man Boobs

Treating your man boobs is directly dependent on what type of man boobs you have: breast tissue or pectoral fat. This must always be done by a medical professional. Your family doctor or general physician will be able to do this but it is best done by a physician who is specialised in the diagnosis and treatment of gynecomastia. There are multiple ways that a doctor can find the composition of the underlying matter but a classic technique is shown below. Again, do not self-diagnose and always see a medical professional.

How Doctors Diagnose The Type Of Man Boobs ?

In this approach, the patient lies flat on his back with his hands clasped beneath his head. Using the separated thumb and forefinger, the examiner slowly brings the fingers together from either side of the breast. In patients with true gynecomastia, a rubbery or firm mound of tissue that is concentric with the nipple–areolar complex is felt. In patients with pectoral or chest fat, no such disk or tissue is found.

A doctor performing physical examination for diagnosis of man boobs

Treatment Of Man Boobs

An image that talks about the different treatment options for man boobs

I am using the word “treatment” in the broadest sense and treatment of man boobs is one crucial part a lot of men does wrong. This always happens when they take matters into their own hands and do a self-diagnosis. Treatment must always be done after diagnosing the composition of your man boobs and then addressing the root cause accordingly. The main treatment options for man boobs are compression vests, supplements and surgical removal. Compression vests are the same but non-surgical supplements are different for gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia and surgical techniques are different as well. Read the gynecomastia treatment options page for gynecomastia related treatment.

Compression Shirts

Compression shirts/tanks are an ideal option to hide man boobs. These days, almost all major companies have their line of compression shirts that are marketed in one or another name. They are very ideal if you do not want to spend a lot of money as well as if you only have a enlargement of your chest that you don’t want others to see when you go out.

A man wearing a compression shirt to hide his man boobs
  • Staring at $20 and above, compression vests are cheapest option available to hide your man boobs.

  • The effects are instantaneous and fast. This becomes helpful especially when you have a function coming in the next few days and you want to show up with your best chest.

  • Compression vests also helps you experience how your chest will look like without man boobs and this is a huge motivating factor to work at getting rid of them either through supplements or surgery.

  • The main drawback is that they are only good for temporarily hiding your man boobs.

  • Initially, you feel some inconvenience as it will bind to your chest but that should go away in the next few days.

Browse Compression Shirts @ Zappos

Supplements For Man Boobs

Supplements for man boobs are the sweet spot between compression vests that are temporary and surgery that is expensive. One mistake that is often repeated is buying the wrong supplement without first finding out if it is breast tissue or pectoral fat that is causing your man boobs. There are supplements explicitly developed to target breast tissue growth as well as for targeting and burning pectoral fat. There are a number of supplements that are in the market for breast tissue growth and burning pectoral fat but the two below are the best products exclusively developed for man boobs due to breast tissue growth and due to pectoral fat.

For Gynecomastia

An image of a supplement to get rid of gynecomastia
  • Developed exclusively for gynecomastia.
  • Natural and non-surgical
  • No stitches and hospitalization
  • Manufactured in U.S.A
  • No special diet requirements
  • Results by end of  first month.
  • Recommended 1 month supply costs $69.95.
  • At $69.95 for one month supply, this custom developed supplement can be expensive for some.

Gynexin Official Site

For Pseudogynecomastia

An image of a supplement that targets chest fat or pseudogynecomastia
  • Exclusively developed to target and burn chest fat.
  • Prescription grade chest fat burner.
  • Guaranteed chest fat loss when supplemented by workouts.
  • Made in U.S.A
  • 100 natural and safe ingredients
  • Recommended 1 month supply costs $61.99.
  • One month supply costs $61.99 and can be an expensive purchase for some.

  • Requires workouts and control in calorie intake.

Gynectrol Official site

Man Boobs In Steroid Users

Post cycle therapy for steroid users who developed man boobs

The web in general and fitness forums in particular are filled with horror stories about steroid users who develop man boobs as a result on non-systematic steroid use. When you use steroids, you are opening up your body to an increased level of estrogen production and decreased levels of testosterone production. If this excess estrogen production is not managed properly, it will lead to excess breast tissue growth and man boobs. Steroid users should cycle off and flush the excess estrogen through post cycle therapy (PCT). Read the post cycle therapy to avoid gynecomastia in steroid users page for detailed information.

post cycle therapy for gynecomastia
Post Cycle Therapy
  • Prevents man boobs.
  • Flushes excess estrogen.
  • Balance hormone levels.
  • Prevents water retention.
  • There is a chance for side effects like thinning of hair, leg cramps. the sensation of tingling in the skin, bouts of headache and mild nausea, hot flashes and reduced sexual interest. Not everyone will experience these side effects and it depends from individual to individual.

Surgery For Man Boobs

Surgery is one of the options to get rid of man boobs

Surgery for man boobs is one of the surefire treatment option because it goes to the root cause of your breast enlargement and removes it. For individuals who have found non-surgical supplements as less effective, surgery is the next logical option. This is what celebrities do to get their best chest and with the skillful hands of a doctor who specializes in surgery for man boobs, you will come out with a totally different chest. The surgical technique for removing breast tissue and pectoral fat are different. Surgery for gynecomastia is called reduction mammoplasty and surgery for removing fat is called liposuction. Read our dedicated page on breast reduction surgery for more information.

A surgeon specialised in the surgery of man boobs
Breast Reduction Surgery
  • 100% guarantee that you will lose your man boos.
  • You get 100% tailored treatment option from a surgeon specialising in gynecomastia.

  • In a matter of 2-4 days, you will have a completely different and absolutely better chest.

  • Surgery and recovery takes only 2-4 days and you can return home.

  • Surgery is not covered by almost all insurance providers unless you meet these 3 eligibility criteria for gynecomastia insurance coverage.

  • The cost can be anywhere between $6000-8500 depending upon the location and profile of your surgeon.

Suggested Further Reading


honest gynexin review with before and after images

a detailed guide about causes of gynecomastia

a-z guide to gynecomastia surgery

compression shirts for men with gynecomastia

the best workouts to lose chest fat for men

A-Z guide to pseudogynecomastia

an image of a doctor explaining the different available gynecomastia treatment options

a definitive guide covering everything on gynecomastia surgery cost

a-z guide to breast reduction supplements for men

a comprehensive guide to post cycle therapy to get rid of gynecomastia

the main requirements to get insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery

Still Couldn’t Find The Information ?

If you still have a question or would like to know more about a particular aspect of gynecomastia, we have the world’s largest database/knowledge-base of question and answers about gynecomastia and you will most likely find the answer for your question there. We also have a forum where you can post your questions and you can also send us your query through the contact form. Before sending us your questions through the contact form, make sure you have searched in our public database as well as in the forums.

  1. Gynecomastia Knowledge-Base 
  2. Gynecomastia Community Forums 
  3. Contact Form